Agent Scott Boras, in a conference call with his client, Stephen Drew, to discuss the shortstop's decision to sign a one-year, $9.5 million contract with the Red Sox for 2013, said that Drew's impact at his position has gone overlooked.
Boras suggested that based on what Drew was able to do with the A's in September, when he hit .263 with a .331 OBP, .421 slugging mark, .752 OPS and five homers -- a couple months into his return from a fractured ankle that sidelined him for a year -- the 30-year-old shortstop is primed to highlight his potential impact at a premium defensive position. From 2008-10, Drew hit .277 with a .335 OBP, .465 slugging mark and .800 OPS (third highest among big league shortstops) while averaging 16 homers a year.
"When you look at Stephen’s September and you look at his career path, in September, he hit .275 and he had five home runs, had about a .345 on- base percentage and you have a player like Stephen, his catch and release is so consistent as a player," said Boras. "The need for shortstops is so great. And then when you add in Stephen’s swing plane and his metrics, where he hits the ball, in Fenway, we really felt like that was kind of the match made for what strengths Stephen has as a hitter and what the ballpark in Boston provides.
"We fully expect a very successful season and also I think it’s going to give the Red Sox and Red Sox fans a chance to see a player that I’m not sure everyone really understands the talent level of Stephen Drew. I think after this year, everyone is going to think a lot differently about what kind of player Stephen is and the impact he can have on a division-contending team."
For his part, Drew suggested that his ankle "is doing tremendous," and that overall, he feels that he's poised for a strong season. He was drawn to Boston by the playing environment, the fit of the park for his game (especially his offensive approach) and the opportunity to partner with Dustin Pedroia in the middle infield.
"I think I’m a good fit in Boston. It’s going to be fun playing with Pedroia. I played against him, to play with a good second baseman is going to be a really good opportunity for me," said Drew, who hit .223/.309/.348/.657 in 79 games with the Diamondbacks and A's last year. "I’m going to come into this year and just hopefully have a great year and the biggest key is for everyone in the field to just stay healthy. I think my talent level will be OK. Everybody that has talent, you just have to stay healthy. ... I’m really excited to be [in Boston] and I know it’s going to be a good fit for me.”
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